Saturday, June 9th, 2007 at 11:37pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Another week, another review. Today BZPower Forum Assistant Kex tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the Barraki Carapar. See how this deep sea villain stacks up against the rest of this year's sets and how it compares to those of the past. So what are you waiting for, read on for the in-depth review!
Today I bring you a review of the physical powerhouse of the Barraki: Carapar.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
As seen on just about every LEGO set, the front of the box (or rather, canister, in this case) features a CGI image of the set. Unlike most of the CGI images, I don't seem to be particularly fond of this one -- it's very bland, and the only action going on is a squid firing from Carapar's launcher... And that's not exactly dynamic.
Besides the new canister design, there's not much difference from your typical Bionicle canister set... The back included. You have a little advertising going on, Kanoka Club fun, and the mandatory caution labels (so you can't sue!). There's also a little diagram that supposedly explains how to fire the squids. Supposedly being the key word.
The next thing you probably notice about the canister is its awkward shape. You can't really tell in the front picture of the can how lopsided it is, but if you take a look at the back and side pictures, you'll see what I mean. Due to the rocky, unsymmetrical, coral-like structure at the bottom, the can stands unevenly. The can is mainly composed of a semi-transparent blue, which allows you to faintly see the contents inside. For those of you who WMKK-hunted back in 2003, I'm sure you would have found this useful back then. In all, think it's pretty cool, as it gives the cans style and individuality. They stand out on the Lego aisle.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The first thing you do (depending on your gender) might be to read the instructions. And the first thing you'll notice on the cover is the strikingly obvious typo. How does that happen?
After dumping out the can, this is what you see. To most, that pile would look like garbage: just a bunch of plastic not even worth recycling. But to us, the Lego fans, we see a pile of happiness in its physical state. More specifically, we see new Barraki parts, and recolors of old parts.
As a MOCist, you must make a very important decision after dumping out the pieces: do you build the set, play around with your new pieces, or make an actual MOC with them? Personally, I always build the set first, as it only takes a few minutes, and I'll likely never build it again if I don't do it right away. On the subject of building the set, Carapar is very straightforward, again (I feel like I'm being so redundant...) like every canister set. Built it once, and you can build it again, no problem.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
These are the new, note-worthy pieces included in the set. You have the Barraki pincers, Carapar's headpiece, claws, chest armor (AKA Mantax's shoulder armor), thigh/shoulder armor, and squid launcher complete with squid. Firing technique not included.
From this view, you can determine how the set is built. Note the BLUE FRICTION PEG. I just don't understand why LEGO strives to ruin color schemes. Now they're making all the #2 axles red. Why, LEGO, why? Their logic (or lack of it) makes my brain hurt.
As you can see, there's a squid attached to Carapar's shoulder via a minifig hand. There's a place for the squid just like that on every Barraki, except in a different position. I guess it's so you have a place to store the squids while you try to figure out how to fire them. Unlike the other Barraki, Carapar's headpiece leaves the back exposed, which isn't too visually appealing from the back or side, but is unnoticeable from the front.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
With 13 points of articulation, Carapar is capable of a wide array of poses. Even for an older fan such as myself, I found it fun to mess around with when I took these pictures.
Carapar in a crab-like pose... In this picture you can see the gap on the top of Carapar's chest, a slight (but annoying) design error.
Ever since 2004, we've had these dreadful things called projectiles introduced into Bionicle (formerly known as collectibles, back when they were actually collectable). It started with Kanoka, moved onto Rhotuka, then Zamor, and now these squid-type things. At least the other projectiles actually fired -- the squids that were introduced with the Barraki can't even do what they were designed for. So if they aren't collectable and they can't fire, what are they good for?
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Sleek and simple design.
- New, useful pieces.
- Fun to play with, if you're into that.
What's not to like?
- The squid and their launchers bring down an otherwise solid line of sets.
- The Barraki can be a bit pricey, retailing for 10+ US dollars in some places.
And that about sums everything up. The Barraki as a whole are great sets that lived up to my expectations after the Inika. Regardless of why you buy Bionicle, Carapar will appease your LEGO needs. If you don't pick up Carapar, at least pick up one of the other five -- they're worth it.
With any luck, this review brought you some insight to this brutish Barraki. Be sure to thank Kex for taking the time to complete this review and ask him any questions you may have. Keep checking back for more reviews, and, of course, the latest Bionicle news.
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